“You sure you wanna do this?” he asked. “You don’t have to. We can find another way.”
“No,” she snapped. Then, softer, “Sorry. We’ve been over this and over this. There is no other way.”
He sighed heavily, “I know. I just… I just… never thought I’d be part of something like this.” He dropped his head onto the steering wheel. “How the fuck did we end up here?”
She turned in her seat to look at him. “Does it matter?” she asked. “We’re here and this is our only way out. Believe me, if there were another option, I’d be all over it.” She shifted back and stared out the windshield at the rain that sluiced down in buckets.
Suddenly, he sat up and said sharply, “No! You’re not doing this. I am not going to be the guy who allows his girl to do something like this because he was irresponsible.”
He reached down to start the car, but she was quicker and snatched the keys out of the ignition.
“We’ve already had this conversation and this is it: Our only option. There…is…no…other…way!” She dropped the keys on the console between them. “Look, if I can handle this, you can handle this. Fuck, I’m the one who’s actually something. You just have to sit around and wait.”
It was his turn to stare at her. “Yeah, it’s so easy for me. Just sit around while my girlfriend is violated. And, why? Because we owe a shit load of money and I can’t keep a fucking job. It’ll be a piece of god damned cake.” He looked out the side window as the rain ran in streams down its surface. “Fuck you,” he muttered. He heard her breathe in sharply. He didn’t turn back.
“I’m sorry,” she said with a catch in her voice. “I guess I didn’t think of what this is doing to you.” Her voice trembling, she said, “Turn around.” He didn’t move. On the verge of tears, she begged him, “Turn around. Please.” He continued to peer out the window. Crying, she pleaded with him, “Won’t you please turn around!” Slowly, he turned back, but stopped short of looking at her.
“Look,” she said, as the words began to pour out of her, “This has got me on edge and I just wasn’t thinking about how it was affecting you. Can you forgive me?” He continued to stare out the windshield. “Please?” she added, a hint of desperation in her voice.
He took in a breath, held it a second and slowly let it out. “Yeah,” he finally said. “I guess we’re both having a harder time with this than we thought we would.” They sat quietly for a few minutes.
“So, you talked to Kat and she said it wasn’t so bad, right?” she asked with much less confidence than she had displayed earlier.
He nodded. “She said she was super-nervous at first, just like you. Then, they gave her a shot. After it kicked in, she just sort of floated through the whole rest of the… thing.”
She hesitated for a second, then asked, “What did Tony say?”
A sour look came over his face and he answered, “Tony didn’t say shit. He just sat there.” Then, “After a minute or two, he got and left the room. Kat told me he got some 4 Loko and got fucked up while she was in there.”
She sat there, staring at the rain on the car window and said in a voice almost too soft to hear, “You won’t do that to me, will you?”
His head whipped around. “Wha…, why the fuck would you even ask that?!?” he demanded angrily.
She flinched. There was a drawn-out pause, then she said, “Well, there was that time at I got so drunk an―”
He slammed his fist on the dashboard and snarled, “You are never going to let me forget that, are you!?” He gave a short, bitter laugh. “One time,” he said, holding up a finger. “One fucking time I leave you at a party and you just can’t let it go.”
“But, I was passed out in Tony’s bedroom!” she protested. “During one of those wild-ass parties he used to throw. Anything could’ve happened.”
“Oh, you were safe enough,” he said. “Tony doesn’t let that kind of shit happen at his parties.”
“You don’t know that,” she countered. “He can’t be everywhere.”
“Whatever,” he replied dismissively. “Nothing happened, so everything’s cool. Why do you have to bring this up every time I say I’ll do something?”
She sat there for a moment, before saying, “I don’t know. I guess I can be kind of bitch sometimes.” He nodded. She pulled her arms in across her chest, hugging her herself. “I’m sorry. I won’t mention it again.”
“It’s okay,” he said, reaching out and caressing her face. “And, don’t worry. I’ll be right outside the whole time, waiting for you.” She smiled and laid her cheek in his palm. Then, he dropped his hand onto the console and she wrapped her arm in his and pulled it in. It was a close to a hug as could be managed in the confines of the front seat.
They sat that way, in silence, for a few minutes before she asked, “What time is it?”
He glanced at the clock. “You’ve got a few minutes.” After a long pause, he asked again, “You sure you want to do this?”
“No,” she answered, “I’m not. I’m scared. Like, really, really fucking scared.”
He looked down at the floorboard. “I know. So, am I. But, what else can we do?” He exhaled. “I mean, do have any idea how bad things will get if we don’t handle this, right now?” She nodded. “I don’t even want to think of the consequences if we back out,” he said. “It will not be pretty.”
She hugged his arm tighter and said, “I know. I’ll do it. I’m just… scared, that’s all.”
“I know,” he said, “me too.”
They sat there, watching the rain as it coursed down the windows of the car. Then, the alarm on his phone began to sound. He disengaged his arm and pulled his phone out his pocket. He swiped his finger up the screen to unlock it and saw the calendar alert. “It’s time,” he said.
Without a word, she reached into the back seat and grabbed a small duffle packed with all the things she’d need. She leaned over and kissed him, then got out of the car and walked through the pouring rain to the door of the building. He watched her all the way, until she disappeared inside. Then, he turned and sat there, watching the rain on the car windows.